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Autoimmune Diagnostics

Autoimmune diseases are diseases which are caused by an overreaction of the immune system against body's own tissues. The immune system recognizes by mistake body´s own tissue as foreign object which needs to be eliminated and focuses his defense (cellular and humoral immune reactions in which autoantibodies are formed) against it.
This leads to severe inflammatory reactions which cause damages to the affected organs. If it is not treated this erroneous attack of the immune system will continue lifelong.

Why autoimmune diseases occur is despite intensive research until today not known. Accepted hypotheses assume that autoimmune diseases are acquired by genetic predisposition in combination with external influences. Owns a person concerned an inherent receptivity which is combined with inappropriate environmental factors like heavy stress, infections and pregnancy it can come to an break-out of an autoimmune disease (bad luck and bad genes).

Target structure of an autoimmune disease can be a defined organ or the entire body (several organs and the vascular system). Hybrid forms with several autoimmune diseases are not unusual.

In general autoimmune diseases can be divided into three different groups:
- Organ-specific: specific organs (tissue structures) are attacked by the immune system
- Systemic or non-organ-specific: Systemic inflammatory rheumatic diseases like collagenoses, which represent five to ten percent of the rheumatic diseases
- Intermediate: hybrid forms or transitional forms which cause a broad immune response